The Boston Marathon has always been considered the pinnacle of marathon running. The hardest the six Major marathon courses and this year the weather made it even more arduous. With monsoon like rain and battering freezing winds it was some of the worst running conditions I have ever seen and as I watched lead runners falter against mother nature an unlikely runner rose to the occasion.
Yuki Kawauchi doesn’t run for a living. He isn’t sponsored by leading brands and doesn’t train with a coach or training group. These traits have earned him the nickname the citizen runner from his ever growing fan base. If you can’t tell I am one of those fans.
He runs because he loves to run and doesn’t take himself or running too seriously, a quality that a lot of professional and non-professional runners are guilty of. While most of the elite marathoners were warming up in the lead up to Boston with oxygen tanks and high altitude training Yuki raced in his local half marathon, dressed as a panda. Yes the man who won in my mind one of the hardest ever major marathons regularly runs in fancy dress.
He doesn’t just race in a few select races a year like most elite athletes but regularly runs in events every weekend. He says doing so keeps him motivated and consistent. I try to do the same even though I experience derision from a few of my running friends.
Yuki is due back at work today in Japan, where he works as a high school administrator, so I wanted to write a quick tribute to the legend and wish him good luck on his incredible aim of completing 100 marathons in under two hours and twenty minutes before the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.